Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,459 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Colin Defries

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July 1908.

Lt-Col Colin Defries (1884-1963) was an English pilot who made the first attempted powered flight over Australia on December 9, 1909 in Victoria Park racecourse. He crashed his biplane when he lost control upon reaching for his hat, which was being blown off by the wind.

With the Aerial League and a newspaper denying that the flight had succeeded, much less occurred at all, Defries made a second attempt on December 18.

Finally, his mechanic, R. C. Banks made an attempt of his own on March 1, 1910, and crashed the plane again.

Harry Houdini accomplished the first successfully landed powered flight over Australia on March 18, 1910

1908 Agent for Porthos Cars

1934 Man. Dir., Houdaille Hydraulic Suspension Co., Ltd., London. B. lo September 1884, London. Ed.: St. Paul's; London University; Darmstadt; apprntcd. Bruce Peebles, Edinburgh. Car.: with S. F. Edge, Ltd., 1904, then Jarrott & Letts; starting own co., Colin Defries, Ltd., 1907; with Porthos cars participated in Grand Prix and Kaiser cup; Australia in 1908, making first flight there in 1909; Sales Man., Fiat Co., 1913/14; pioneered hydraulic shock absorbers; electric windscreen wipers and adjustable thermostats; war service R.A.F. 1914 to 1918. Md.: 2 daughters.

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